ESPN: State “Biggest Disappointment”

It really shouldn’t be a big surprise to most people that can swallow water without a machine, but Joe Lunardi of ESPN named NC State the “biggest disappointment of the college basketball season.”

Additionally, Lunardi named Boston College, next year’s new member of the ACC, as the biggest surprise.
* Since Al Skinner of BC has compiled a 2-0 record against the two best teams in Sir Sendek’s grueling tenure in Raleigh, I’m sure that you can add the folks in Boston – those that care about the Eagles that is – to the HSSS crowd.

As one of the posters on PackPride asked, I don’t know what is more embarassing about Lunardi’s comments. Was it:
(a) The comments began by “NC State has to be biggest disappointment of the year” , or (b) ESPN began talking about us by saying “this is a team that came into the season with Sweet 16 aspirations!”

My answer would be that we should just be glad that they remember that we exist!!! Being mentioned is an improvement from when ESPN totally forgot that we existed just last month. The bad news is that the network is not only being accurate in their perspectives on the Wolfpack…but they are being pretty consistent, as well.

Quote of the day on this has to go to “WolfpackinCA” who said,

“Congrats Herb, after 9 years, you are finally number one. “

Georgia Tech? Puh-lease!
One of this years pages in the HSSS play-book is to try to find another team who has disappointed worse than the Wolfpack. Facts be damned…they *think* that they can almost get there by pointing fingers at Georgia Tech.

This desire to label someone worse than us has been happening all year, but for proof you need look no further than today’s thread about this topic on PackPride where someone named “BoognishBockwinkle” stated, “GT has crashed worse than us. It’s close, but they win the biggest dissapointment. ”

Riiiiight, Boog.

Just so that we don’t let these litte speedbumps called facts get in the way…let’s make sure that we are clear on some things —-

* Georgia Tech started the season generally considered a Top 10 team and in the upper echeleon of the ACC with Duke, Carolina, and Wake. (Top 4 finish in ACC).

* NC State started this season generally considered a Top 25 team and (in the minds of the Sendek-supporters) slighted by being ranked around #5 or #6 in the conference even though they contended that we were still “#2 in the ACC”. (Of course, I submit to you that this was ridiculously low and is further indication of what the rest of the world REALLY thinks of Herb Sendek’s coaching. Not what they SAY about Herb Sendek…or what they THINK of him as a “person”. But, what they truly believe about his coaching – as any other team that returned the talent we returned and added a Top 20 recruiting class would have easily been mush more highly ranked. But…I digress)

Injuries impact both teams
Since the season has begun, both teams have battled some injuries (as all teams do).
* In addition to one of their freshmen being injured, GT has lost a 2nd Team All-ACC player and All-American candidate for every single ACC games.
* State lost Tony Bethel for 5 or 6 games – a guard who had never been in the program before and had no input into last seasons “success” that so many of our returning players had. Now that Bethel has returned, we have lost a player that plays his identical position and came off the bench for us (Cam Bennermen).

* Georgia hovers around a Top 25 subjective ranking and is ranked #35 in the RPI while playing the 14th toughest schedule in the country.
* NC State is nowhere in sight of a subjective ranking (check that…we are the #1 disappointment in the country) and is currently ranked #116 in the RPI while battling the #122nd toughest schedule in the country.

* GT is currently 20-25 spots worse than their preseason expectations in the RPI and still has a chance to finish in their projected spot of Top 4 in the ACC.
* NC State State is about 80-90 spots worse than our preseason expectations in the RPI and is currently 10th in the ACC (if BC was included), with no chance of finishing the Top 4 that all of the HSSSers claimed that we should be.

….but Georgia Tech is the larger disappointment?

I’m sure that math makes since to someone. If not Ronald Curry, then surely Lee Fowler.